Living in a small town is great, but networking isn’t always easy. Making new connections can be challenging, so you need to get a little creative. Of course, if you’re currently employed, you also don’t want to do anything too obvious that will alert your boss that you’re looking for a new job.
Not sure how to get started? Here’s some advice to help you build a strong network right here in your hometown.
Leveraging Existing Relationships and Connections
One of the best things about small-town life is the tight-knit community that comes with it. You probably don’t know everyone in your town, but you likely have an impressive network in place.
Capitalize on that by investing in your current connections. Stay in touch with them on a regular basis and ask them to introduce you to relevant professionals in their network — and return the favor.
Exploring Unconventional Networking Opportunities
There’s no shortage of networking events in big cities, but the same can’t always be said for small towns. Being creative is the best way to get your name out there.
For example, if you’re trying to sell your social media skills, you might host a free seminar to teach entrepreneurs how to market their businesses online. If your town has one, you might also consider utilizing co-working spaces to meet other local professionals.
Tips for Building a Strong Personal Brand
You want your star to shine bright, so you need a personal brand that stands out. Make your values clear by sharing what drives you and behaving in a manner that supports this.
Get involved in your community by asking local businesses and community leaders about problems they’re facing — relative to your skills — and what you can do to help. You might even consider joining your local chamber of commerce or another local non-profit.
The Role of Online Networking in a Small Town
If you’re willing to work outside the borders of your small town or are seeking remote opportunities, online networking is crucial. Using social media — i.e., LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter — to make new connections will help expand your reach and possibly get your name in front of hiring managers looking to fill positions you’re interested in.
Make sure the social media accounts you’re using are strictly professional. Everything from your profile picture to the content you’re sharing must present you as a polished candidate who is truly committed to their career. Put any personal accounts you have on lockdown because you never know what type of content will offend a potential hiring manager.
Ready to find a new job in your small Southwestern Michigan or Northern Indiana town? The Wood Companies is here to help you take the next step. Contact us today to find out what we can do for your career!